January, 2004

31 Jan 2004, by


So last week when I was supposed to be writing, I got sidetracked trying to fix up my page instead. Talk about a vortex of lost time. If your browser played nice with my page all along you likely won’t notice the difference, but if your browser didn’t display my page properly before (for example, Safari) then you should be rather pleased by the results. I wrestled the CSS into submission and fixed all the HTML errors and everyone who has a browser that even remotely understands CSS should be able to read the page with minimal or no issues. Unfortunately, those of you on version 4 of Netscape are out of luck, though I also have a streamlined version of the page that might be legible to you here. So the good news is that my page now validates as HTML 4.01 transitional under’s validator and their CSS validator. If you can’t read it at this point, it’s really not my fault, look to your browser. Shiny new tags indicating my standards compliance are at the bottom of the page.

Next I’ll be tackling the woefully outdated currents on the right hand column, making the sub pages more like the front page, adding plugins, updating the links section and linking back up some stuff I’d unlinked when I first transitioned to the nucleus blog, and, of course adding back all the ancient diary entries that I never put into nucleus. Look for more improvements soon!

For completeness sake, I’ll note that I retroactively added an entry I’d written during Christmas vacations while I had no internet access.

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In: meta | Tags:

30 Jan 2004, by

A tryptich of dreams from the last week or so. Topics include : my mother, Aragorn, a lady where I work who is often less than rational.

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29 Jan 2004, by

Welcome to this week’s fragment entry. I just want to say, before we get to the meat, that last week I failed to do the fragment exercise not because I didn’t get around to it or because I forgot or all the other reasons I frequently don’t do it. Last week I actually tried to write something and failed. I got a little ways into it and realized I had no idea where I was going or what to write and that the idea had was not even mature enough for a single scene and I actually gave up on it. I kept waiting around for another idea and my head felt completely empty. I’m going to have to comb through some of the notebooks and notes I have for ideas if that happens to me again, but last week when it happened it kind of took me by surprise and paralyzed me. It’s the first time since I’ve started the exercise that I tried to do it and failed so I figured it merited a mention, for honesty’s sake, despite how embarassing I might find it to say so.

With that confession out of the way, this week’s fragments (they’ll be italicized in the text) are :

  • loosely in her hand
  • less than a minute
  • he spent about five

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In: writing | Tags:

22 Jan 2004, by

My mom tells this story of me when I was little. I think it’s supposed to be an indication of how precocious I was as a child. I was in nursery school, I think, though possibly at a relative’s or friend’s home instead. This conversation follows, between me and an adult in charge of me at the time (paraphrased, of course):

“Oh look at that lovely bird. You see it? It’s a redbird.”

Adult points to bird out window. I look.

“That’s not a redbird,”I say authoritatively,”It’s a cardinal.”

And it was.

That sets the stage for the following like mother like daughter story. A couple of days ago in daycare, it was reported to my husband that much to everyone’s amusement, Sophia had the following conversation with Ms. Leona:

“Oh look at these reindeer!”

Ms. Leona points to two new toys, Rutt and Tuke, from the movie Brother Bear. Sophia takes the toys.

“These aren’t reindeer,” she informs Ms. Leona,”They’re mooooooooooooose.”

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World66, the travel guide you write: My World66. [Link taken from Poppy Z. Brite’s LiveJournal]

This little gidget lets you color the places of the world you’ve visited, giving you a cool visual for where you’ve been and where you haven’t. My travel map is below:

Map of the World with Countries I've visited in Red

I’ve not been nearly enough places!

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19 Jan 2004, by

I have a very long list of things I’d like to say about Sophia, most of which will probably never get said, so I’m going to tell you three things right now that I think are worth mentioning, instead of waiting for the right time or the right order or the right mood to strike me.

In the mornings, when Sophia climbs into bed with me, as she did this morning, she almost always has things to say. She brings friends too. At least one of her stuffed animals, and, more frequently, as many as she can carry. This morning I said to her,”Boy you have a lot of animals,” and she said, “Yeah, help me with them.” I put the animals in the bed then helped her climb in and get under the covers. She said “Here’s your Lucky,” and handed me the dalmation that Aunt Kelly had given her when we went to Europe. She told me he was soft, and so I petted him. Then she told me he was white and black which is, according to her, “kinda like Rorschach.” As if on cue, Rorschach strolled by and she said, excitedly, “Look! He’s right there! I see his tail!”

Later today, when she came home from daycare she brought me a heart shaped cutout with a handprint, presumably hers, in the middle. I guess this is a Valentine’s Day craft of some type or another. She handed it to me with a joyous exuberance. “Look, look, I made that! I made that for you, mama!” And I told her it was lovely and I liked it very much and it looked like a heart. “I made that,” she repeated, standing next to me and placing her hand over the handprint exactly. “It’s a Blue’s Clues pawprint,” she informed me, just in case I might not know its nature. I nodded solemnly. She calls all handprints ‘Blue’s Clues pawprints’. In fact, when we were in Michigan and she was walking outside in the snow (which was a thing unto itself that I should really write about in detail at some point) she looked back at her tracks and told me she’d made pawprints. I corrected her and told her that, actually, we called those footprints. She nodded sagely and walked a little further, then turned and shouted,”Mama, I made footpawprints!”.

During the day, Sophia will allow you to read any number of books to her, though she might want a particular one read several times in a row. At night, however, she tends to ask for the same book for weeks at a time, usually until I put it up in the closet and pull out a different one in its stead. Dr. Seuss enjoys particularly long runs in this way. Aunt Kelly had given her A Hatful of Seuss a while back and we’ve been on two “Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book” kicks and at least three “Horton Hears a Who” kicks since we started the night time reading routine. I tried “Sneetches” on her too, but she never seemed to hip to it. Lately, however, she’s been absolutely immersed in “If I Ran the Zoo”. I’m not as familiar with this story as with some of the others. I’m not at all sure what she sees in it, either. Even so, every night I ask her which story she wants to read and she says,”This one. Past the zoo.” and to make sure I’m not confused she points to the small graphic of the appropriate book on the cover. And so, we read “Past the zoo”.

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17 Jan 2004, by

I guess it’s about time for a pregnancy update. I’m actually really tired right now and not feeling up to gushing or anything like that, so we’ll see how accurately I’m able to represent what is going on.

I had my doctor appointment a week and a half ago and everything seems to be going well. I was a bit embarassed because I had to ask her for a note. Yes, my personnel office now requires a note from my doctor proving that I am pregnant before they will allow me to take any time off for doctor’s appointments. Ludicrous, isn’t it? I’m five months along and this is my second baby: it’s patently obvious that I’m with child. It’s humiliating and stupid and unbelievably high school that I have to ask my doctor for a note. I can’t imagine anyone faking they were pregnant in order to take medical leave, and it makes me wonder why they implemented this change.

So I’m six pounds up, which was less than I thought, and pleases me because Kurt’s parents kept trying to stuff me full of food the whole time I was there. I expected to be up eight or ten, which really would have been too much, too fast. As it is I’m uncomfortably bulky now. It’s difficult to get around and sleep was starting to be hard to come by. I remember this from last time, having trouble getting comfortable and sleeping through the night. However, we got a firm new mattress at the same time that we bought Sophia hers, and it has helped a great deal. Our old mattress had a spring sticking out of the side. Last weekend I bought a body pillow, which was a complete life saver last time around, but which died a messy Sergei eaten death shortly after Sophia was born. This combination has worked wonders for my ability to sleep and I’ve had some particularly comfortable nights in the last week. The kind where I’ve woken up and realized that it’s the first time I’ve woken the whole night, and that I’m not uncomfortable, and that I just need a slight shift and I can get right back to sleep.

This baby moves a lot more than Sophia, or else I’ve forgotten how much Sophia used to move around. I’ve also had more hardcore kicks from this child than from the previous one. It has taken my breath away four or five times, at least. There’s usually three periods of heavy activity: in the morning when I wake, right after lunch in the early afternoon, and at night when I go to sleep. It is strange to feel that I have this little creature for company at all times. I am never alone. Most of the baby’s movements are like Sophia’s were : turns and rolls that give me the sensation that he or she is just swimming around in there or possibly stretching like a cat. I love feeling those movements.

Yoga is getting really difficult. I’ve had to abandon a number of poses, and others that I think should be ok hurt me. What’s worse is that I seem to be weaker. I can’t hold the poses for as long as I used to. I try to take it easy, but it’s really frustrating when I know my body had the capacity for these poses, and it doesn’t seem like I should be worse at them now than I was four months ago. There are a couple of poses that I’m actually much better at, but that’s little consolation.

I am suffering from periodic groin pains, and I’m not sure whether this is normal or not. I don’t remember this from last time. It’s a sharp pulling kind of pain and it usually happens when I shift positions, like when I’m rolling from one side to the other at night, or when I’m standing from a seated position, or sometimes simply when I’m taking a step forwards. I feel like I might actually have a pulled muscle or something there, but I imagine that’s not the case, as it would likely hurt constantly if it were. The intermittent groin pain along with the return of the charley horses (which I absolutely did remember most vividly and was mentally cheering myself on for not having had this time) has contributed to raise my physical suffering level in the past few weeks. I’m definitely a low pain tolerant sort of person and I can be expected to be extra whimpery and whiny about these types of things, despite the fact that they are not serious and are fairly common. Still hurts, even if it’s not life-threatening to either one of us.

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16 Jan 2004, by

This morning, Kurt went into Sophia’s room, as he always does, to wake her up. She doesn’t like to be woken up and this goes better for all involved if it’s a gradual process. So as a first step he goes in and turns on the bathroom light and perhaps says something to her in a quiet voice. Five or ten minutes later he comes in and turns on her bedroom light, and if she seems ready begins to change and dress her, or else just speaks to her a little more. He tells her it’s time to get up and that sleep time is over and so forth. This morning he’d followed all those steps and she was wailing that she didn’t want to get up, so he left her for another couple mintues with all the lights on. On his return, he discovered that she’d climbed out of bed, turned off her bedroom light and gotten back into bed. This astonishes me and makes me giggle. She was determined not to get up.

This was all possible due to the fact that last week Sophia started using a big girl’s bed, which she can climb into and out of by herself. We bought two mattresses, in anticipation of getting a bunk bed a couple of years down the road, and stacked them and lo! bed. We had looked at several children’s beds, and it just seemed like they were too tall for her. Sophia is not exactly physically adventurous and she is easily intimidated by having to climb. We wanted her bed to be a comforting and comfortable place. It worked beyond our wildest expectations. She loves her bed. Every time she walks into her room she shouts “Look! It’s Sophia’s big girl’s bed,” takes a running start and then leaps up onto it. She tells me “C’mon, mama, let’s get on Sophia’s big girl’s bed!” and I go over there and join her. She starts jumping up and down excitedly. For a couple of days she kept telling Kurt and myself to jump up and down on it as well, but we insisted to her that we were too big to jump on her bed, so now she says “Mama jump on the bed!” followed by a sly smile and, “Naaaaaaaaah, it’s too big for mama!”

Part of what made moving her to a regular bed so easy is that while she was at Kurt’s parents over Christmas she slept in a regular bed with Kelly every night. She loved that and was so proud of herself for sleeping in a big bed and we celebrated it, of course.

The first weekend she slept in the bed (we set it up her for on Thursday night of last week), she fell out of it, but since it’s just two mattresses and the floor is not far, she didn’t really hurt herself. Kurt went in to see about her because she was crying. She said she’d fallen out and Kurt asked her if she wanted him to put her back in the bed and she said yes. She’d walked around to the end of the bed where her stepstool was, so he thinks maybe she was in the process of climbing back in by herself when he came in (not that she needs the stepstool to get on it, she just uses it sometimes when she’s not feeling as confident). She went right back into the bed and right back to sleep, so the inevitable fall has already come and no trauma resulted. We are pleased that she has done so well and that no railings or anything appear to be needed.

This past weekend we were treated to Sophia coming into our room as soon as she’d woken up. In the past she has just called to us or started talking or even just lain quietly until we’ve gone to get her out of the crib. It’s really sweet to see her come running in, carrying one of her animals. On one of the days she climbed into bed with me and snuggled up to me. She told me she’d slept in her big girl bed. I asked her if she liked it and she said she had. She put her feet up against my skin and I told her that her feet were cold. She told me yes, because she’d been playing in the snow, and that then she’d seen rudolph the red-nosed reindeer at grandma’s. I think she must have been retelling her dreams to me, which I find really exciting. I can’t wait to hear more of her night time adventures.

Her transition to a regular bed meets half of our requirements for her before the baby comes. We wanted the crib free for the baby, so we wanted her in a regular bed. The other thing we want is for her to be potty trained and out of diapers. That’s going less well. She understands the procedure and knows when she needs to go, but she’s just not terribly willing to do it. We’ve been indulgent and patient with her so far, but I’m not sure how long that’s going to last.

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